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164

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Antique Statues - 1. The Aphrodite of Melos

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164 ROMAN DAYS.
creator had so used his chisel that no one can mistake
the point in this vast circle where he sought and found
his archetype. It may, in other words, seem as if this
Aphrodite could not possibly have furnished the stuff for
the Olympian adventures Lucian has made the theme
of his wicked jests. But French nature is other than
ours, and when Quatremere de Quincy had to inter-
pret the statue, his choice fell on that Venus who gave
her honest partner Hephaestus, blacksmith of the gods,
the emblems which on the front of Jupiter Ammon, but
not on his, denote strength and good luck. And when
De Clarac had to solve the same problem, before his eyes
stood Venus with the apple of Paris, proud of the prize
of victory, which she had won because she did not cherish
the chaste coyness of Hera or Pallas, in letting fall the
veil.
Quatremere de Quincy places the goddess together
with Ares, the god of war, her favored suitor. If she
have held the left arm uplifted, which she plainly has
done, it was to let the hand rest on the shoulder of the
beloved soldier. Her right hand she lays confidingly in
his left. So, then, a prologue to the hour when He-
phaestus surprised them with the net, and made them

and himself — the jest of Olympus. The surmise is
founded on many similar groups ; all, however, of late
and obscure origin, and inferior worth.
Were this interpretation correct, we should have ad-
ditional reason to feel disappointment at the state in
which the work has come down to our time. For a
statue of Ares worthy the master-hand that chiseled the
Aphrodite of Melos, would be something alone of its
kind. Among the many marble treasures that have been
discovered in classic ground, we seek in vain for such a

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